Volunteering and Service in the Community
Our programme of civic engagement offers opportunities to many of our pupils to work in our 6 local partner primary schools in breakfast and after school clubs and as mentors and classroom assistants. Up to 70 of our Year 10 and 11 pupils are so engaged. This has continued online during the Covid-19 pandemic as much as possible, though other students have redirected their efforts to other initiatives, such as writing letters to vulnerable isolated people in the Westminster area.
Around 250 of our pupils are involved every year in volunteering of one sort or another, with many placements being directed towards supporting education in the community. Our pupils support the primary schools in literacy, language development and numeracy acting as classroom assistants.
Some of our year 12 and 13 boys are acting as academic mentors in various community settings - such as the Coin St Neighnourhood Cemtre - in homework clubs providing support for the boys and girls who attend in the evenings. A large number of our pupils volunteer at Garside House and the Pullen centre working for the elderly and at St Thomas's Hospital on the Evelina Children's ward.
We also facilitate volunteering to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities, for example in a local swimming group for disabled children, or at Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, where 7 students support primary age pupils on a weekly basis, using their BSL skills.
During the year, we support local charities with specific initiatives, ranging from hamper-packing for the elderly for In-Deep, to community gardening in Lambeth. Students also undertake regular volunteering in local charity shops, such as Oxfam in Pimlico.
Our programme of civic engagement, foundered in volunteering placements has been continually developed over several years and pupils are expected to have committed to at least one volunteering placement during their time at Westminster.
Throughout the academic year. Placements last a minumum of a term. Some pupils remain with the same organisation for the entire year.